People of all ages, all over the world experience conflicts. It’s a normal part of being alive. In school and at home, children learn about ways to resolve conflict in a peaceful way, and can even learn valuable lessons from conflicts that arise. But sometimes, conflicts arise between large communities of people, affecting whole nations or regions of the world… they can even lead to war. The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to people who are working hard to resolve these types of conflicts, and to advocate for the rights of people who are oppressed by these conflicts. The Nobel Peace Laureates all have one thing in common: they use methods other than weapons to bring conflict and oppression to an end in order to build a more peaceful world.
The Game Design Prompt:
Learn about the methods Nobel Peace Laureates use to advocate for a more peaceful and just world. Design a game that shows other students how they, too, can build peace, end conflict, and stand up for human rights.
Development Goal #16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.
Since 1901, the Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to 110 individuals and 30 organizations
Notable Peace Prize laureates include Martin Luther King Jr., UNICEF, Mother Teresa, Elie Wiesel, and the Red Cross
Research has shown that peace negotiations are more likely to succeed and last when women participate
1 in 4 youth are affected by conflict and violence
Nonviolent resistance has proven to be 2x more effective at bringing about change than armed struggle
The Nobel Peace Prize is an internationally recognized award that acknowledges people and organizations whose actions champion peace.
In the Peace Builders game (see the next section for more), you will find profiles on several laureates. Discover and learn about each of the laureates through PowerPoint presentations, lesson plans, and student worksheets.
A unique collaboration between the Nobel Prize and Minecraft, Active Citizen and Peace Builders (in collaboration with Games for Change) present new ways to engage young people in creating a more peaceful world. Learn how to use this groundbreaking Minecraft world in the classroom and beyond.
Active Citizen is a Minecraft learning experience where students explore the stories of Alfred Nobel and four Nobel Peace laureates to learn about the skills and dedication it takes to enact local and global change.
Peace Builders is a follow-up to Active Citizen. It offers four new perspectives from four more laureates and focuses on avoiding and mitigating conflict. Users learn how to work together toward a more peaceful world as they explore the inspiring and unique stories of these peacemakers.
Educators: Supporting powerpoints and lesson plans can be accessed here.
Conflict is natural. It happens at every level of society – internationally, nationally, in our communities, and even in our homes. It happens when we feel excluded or disagree about values or ideas. When we’re not able to resolve things peacefully, conflict can worsen and even turn violent.
The goal of peacebuilding is to resolve injustice in nonviolent ways and transform the conditions that lead to conflict. Peacebuilding can include conflict prevention, management, and resolution, as well as healing once the conflict is over.
Strategic Peacebuilding Paths
The Peace Alliance has defined 5 cornerstones of peacebuilding:
To learn about peacebuilding in action, check out the United States Institute of Peace’s Peace Events of the 20th and 21st Centuries.
Conflict and disaster disproportionately affect women and girls, yet they are underrepresented in conflict resolution and recovery efforts. Women play a vital role in peacebuilding; they generate more buy-in from communities and make peace more durable. Their inclusion can lead to lasting, sustainable peace.
In 2000, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 1325, which recognizes women’s equal participation and full involvement in all aspects of peace work. Since then, countries around the world have made it a national policy. Read on to learn more about women as agents of peace.
Each year, millions of people live in conflict areas. The majority of those are youth under the age of 30. Conflict can leave them displaced, undernourished, out of school, and at severe risk of exploitation and abuse. But young people are also impassioned change makers. They have fresh perspectives, are driven, and are eager to be seen as capable.
Just like women, youth’s perspectives are invaluable when it comes to creating lasting peace. In 2015, the United Nations adopted Resolution 2250, which urges countries to include young people in peacebuilding in a meaningful way.
UNICEF’s Voices Across the World blog. Read about others’ stories and let YOUR voice be heard. Use the power of the written word, photography, or video to tell the world about the issues that you care about the most.
United States Institute of Peace Lesson: Paper Folding Activity (10 min)
Nobel Prize Lesson: The Fight for Human Rights (60 min)
What you’ll need:
Warm-up (5 min)
Ask the students the following questions:
Show the slide show (15 min)
Show the slideshow, using the speaker’s manuscript to narrate. Pause on the question after slide 8 and let the students think for a minute or two, either individually or with a partner. Let any students who want to give their responses to the full class.
Work with videos (30 min)
Presentation (about 10 min)
Let at least one pair of students for each video make a short presentation about the Nobel Laureate they worked with and what they came up with in response to question 4.